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Food Hack: Turn Leftover Chicken Soup into Taco Soup

Today’s quick food hack: How to turn leftover chicken soup into chicken taco soup, with just a few easy additions!

add-ins make chicken soup into taco soup

So as a person of a certain vintage, I don’t usually spend much time on TikTok. Recently however, I got sucked into a couple of hours of looking at “food hacks” over there. My takeaways? Apparently anything can be a “hack,” little tips can be helpful, and the platform is designed to keep you watching forever, what with its endless scroll and constant little hits of dopamine.

ANYway, since I’m more of a person of the written word, let me share with you one of my own favorite food hacks of late: Here’s how to easily turn leftover chicken soup into chicken taco soup!

Chicken soup + a couple add-ins = chicken taco soup

turn leftover chicken soup into taco soup, ingredients

Now, what would make you want to do this? Well if you’re anything like me, sometimes you cook up a giant pot of chicken soup… and then you are faced with a giant pot of leftovers. This is not a problem, but an opportunity!

chicken leg quarters

I recently picked up a 10 lb bag of chicken leg quarters from ALDI at $.49 a pound, so (with winter storms heading our way), I felt compelled to use part of my bounty to make a big batch of soup.

While sometimes I freeze up a number of dinner-sized portions of chicken soup for later, this week we just started eating up the leftovers. Chicken soup is, of course, awesome — but last night I started wishing for something with a little more kick. So I threw a little bit of this and a little bit of that into my leftovers to jazz things up, and it was just so spicy, warm, and good that I repeated the experiment again today for lunch.

How do you turn leftover chicken soup into chicken taco soup? Well, you start with a plain old bowl of chicken soup — then, just add the following to your own taste before reheating:

  • Salsa verde
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne

Reheat the soup, then top it with shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese. Serve with toast or tortilla chips.

Just have some leftover cooked chicken? Try this leftover chicken taco soup recipe instead.

Or take your soup up another notch

soup with cheese and tortilla chips

The above is just a quick & dirty way of adding some heat to leftover chicken soup. Last night I also added some chopped green onion to my bowl, and you can jazz things up further to your own taste after starting with this simple base.

Alternatively, use your leftover soup as a base and bulk it up even more. Here’s how: Pour all of your leftover chicken soup into a pot on the stove top. Stir in some combination of the following ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 20 minutes or so.

  • Salsa verde, to taste
  • Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Canned corn, rinsed and drained
  • Smoked paprika, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • Cayenne, to taste

Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, then serve your reborn chicken taco soup topped with shredded cheese.

More easy food hacks?

Let me know your own favorite food hacks to mix things up, and browse more of my food hacks here!